§ Mr. Thorne
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he is aware that 11-plus selection is to be reintroduced in Preston primary schools after seven years of a non-selective system; and if he will take steps to ensure that the abolition of selection is adhered to in that area.
§ Mr. Armstrong
I understand that, now that Preston forms part of Lancashire, the local education authority intends to offer parents the option of having their children assessed for one of the very limited number of grammar school places likely to be available when the needs of surrounding areas, as yet unrecognised, have been met. Similarly, parents living in the unreorganised areas will be able to apply for comprehensive places for their children once the needs of the reorganised area have been met. There is no question of re-establishing a selective system of secondary education in Preston or of subjecting any child to a selection procedure against the wishes of his parents.
The Lancashire Local Education Authority has, of course, in common with all others, been asked under Circular 4/74 to inform my right hon. Friend by the end of 1974 of the successive measures that will be taken to complete the process of reorganisation in those areas where selection procedures are still operated.